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Broadband Subscriptions' Quarter Growth Hits Five Year High

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DURHAM, N.H.—Broadband internet from the largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. saw an increase in subscribers by 1.165 million in the first quarter of 2020, according to the latest report from Leichtman Research Group. This is the most additions in any quarter since Q1 2015, Leichtman reports.

The 1.165 million net subscribers for Q1 2020 was up 122% from Q1 2019, which saw a net gain of 955,000 subscribers. 

The top broadband providers (Comcast, Charter, Cox, AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and others) now account for 102.4 million, representing 96% of the broadband market. Cable companies have 69.2 million broadband subscribers, having added 1.23 million subscribers in Q1 2020, a 132% increase over Q1 2019 numbers.

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Wireline phone companies, however, saw a loss in Q1 2020 of about 65,000 subscribers; they had a net gain of 20,000 in Q1 2019.

Overall, within the past year, there was about a 2.75 million net gain in broadband subscribers, up from 2.635 million from the year prior, Leichtman reports.

“With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in Q1 2020 than in any quarter in five years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. “Top cable companies performed particularly well, having the most net additions for cable broadband services in any quarter in 13 years.

The full Leichtman Research Group report is available online.